Online courses are the universe`s gift to smart entrepreneurs because they enable us to reach an incredible number of people with very low set up costs. Through them we can learn the most revolutionary things from each other plus they are the introvert`s dream of learning at our own pace.

One of things many clients ask me is where to host them though, especially now that the new EU legislation for VAT on downloadable products sold to someone in the EU makes things that tiny little bit harder. So without further ado, here is a roundup of the most promising options I came across on my travels: 

Choosing between onsite courses and offsite courses

WordPress plug ins give you the option to create courses on your blog, meaning that you are completely in control of the design and handling the finances. Many of them are pretty easy to deal with, so with a bit of tech background it should be totally doable. If on the other hand you would rather focus on just creating the content while someone else takes care of payments and hosting, then choosing to build your courses on an external platform might be more sensible. Since selling courses through third parties would be a business to business transaction, you would not need to worry about dealing with european VAT rules.

Please remember though – I am not a lawyer, its important that you do you own research to make a smart decision based on your individual situation. I found these articles helpful to learn more and think about my own plans.

It`s also very likely that many new solutions will be released this year, so I will keep this post updated. If you are deciding to go for an on page plug in and process your own payments through Woo Commerce, you could also think about adding this Woo Commerce EU VAT compliance plug in to take care of the required moss system. 

WordPress plug ins for courses and membership platforms

ZippyCourses was developed by Derek Halpern, founder of Social Triggers and integrates easily with any good WordPress theme. The essentials:

  • The investment is 199 USD which includes one year of support, after that its 99 USD per year
  • A WordPress theme is included, the premium package for 299 USD gets you an additional premium theme
  • The plug in enables you to easily drip-feed content or release it all at once and you can bundle individual courses together
  • The plug in comes with build in payment processing for the most popular payment gateways
  • Training is provided

CoursePress is another popular choice which was developed for WordPress. The essentials:

  • The pro version costs from 24,90 USD per month
  • Create multi media courses with your own branding and design
  • CoursePress Pro offers 12 different payment gateways
  • You can use the Coursepress theme or integrate with other themes through shortcodes
  • You can offer downloads, live chats and assessment grading

 

You might also want to consider the Course Cats  plug in – the essentials:

  • The monthly plan is 47 USD, they yearly option is 467 USD
  • You can create branded sales pages
  • Video tutorials are available
  • All pages are responsive
  • You can create affiliate programs with additional plug ins

Another idea, technically not a plug in, is the to drip-feed content through a newsletter provider like Mailchimp with automation and to host video content on Vimeo pro, which is 159 EUR a year.

External platforms on which you can create and host courses

Fedora is a platform solely dedicated for online courses. The essentials:

  • Individual branding is possible
  • Transaction fees vary between 1 USD + 10% to 5% with a monthly fee of 99 USD
  • Payout is 30 days after the end of the month in which the course is sold
  • You can create affiliate programs to widen your community
  • Additional features include multi-language support, custom domains, multi media courses and responsive sites
  • Creating multiple courses and bundling them is possible

Gumroad is another option that also offers eBook, film and audio download hosting and payment processing. The essentials:

  • Pricing is 5% plus 0,25 USD on every sale
  • Gumroad takes care of all EU VAT matters
  • You can create individual courses and bundle them
  • Traditional affiliate programs are currently not possible
  • Branding is easily done
  • You can drip-feed content or release all at once
  • Pay out is every other Friday

 

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